Hebrew HealthCare


Meet Our Staff

At Hebrew HealthCare, we believe that the quality and compassion of our staff is what sets us apart from other health care providers. We ensure quality and encourage compassion in a number of ways:

Best practices from around the country are identified and implemented at Hebrew HealthCare. The staff receives ongoing training well beyond what regulatory agencies require. Comprehensive orientation and performance improvement evaluations are standard for all employees. Background checks are conducted on all direct care workers, even though they are not required in the State of Connecticut. Staff members are encouraged to be involved in the community. Perhaps the best example of our commitment to our patients is the longevity of our staff, many of whom have been with us for more than 20 years. Our staff strives to provide the same kind of care you would provide.

Here is a brief introduction to some of Hebrew HealthCare's leaders:

Bonnie Gauthier, President and Chief Executive Officer


Ms. Gauthier oversees all daily operations and long term planning for all aspects of Hebrew HealthCare and its affiliates. She has been instrumental in building Hebrew Health Care into one of the leading providers of health care for older adults in the Northeast. She also led the effort to develop and open Hoffman SummerWood Community in 2000.

Since joining Hebrew HealthCare in 1979, Ms. Gauthier served as Director of Employee and Public Relations, Assistant Executive Director, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer before becoming President and Chief Executive Officer in 1998.

She is active in a number of organizations that address health care issues and issues related to aging. She is a past Secretary of the Board of LeadingAge (formerly AAHSA) and an active member of the Board of LeadingAge CT (formerly CANPFA).

Ms. Gauthier earned a Master of Arts in Gerontology from St. Joseph College in West Hartford and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature/Secondary Education (cum laude) from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

David A. Houle, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Mr. Houle is responsible for the overall financial management of all aspects of Hebrew HealthCare and its affiliates which operate under a $55 million combined budget.  He also oversees daily operations and long term planning throughout its continuum of services.

With more than 30 years experience in space planning and renovations, Mr. Houle was instrumental in the construction of Hoffman SummerWood Community as well as in obtaining $16 million bond financing through Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) for that project.

Mr. Houle has worked in health care throughout his career, and joined Hebrew HealthCare in 1980 as Controller. He is a founding member of the Association of Long Term Care Financial Managers (ALTCFM) and is a past president. He has also been an active member of the Connecticut Association of Not-for-Profit Providers for the Aging (CANPFA), Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA), American College of Health Association (ACHA), and served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Managers Association (HFMA) in 1998.

Mr. Houle holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

Dr. Ava Pannullo, Medical Director 


Dr. Ava Pannullo is the Medical Director for the Hebrew HealthCare, Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing and Hebrew HealthCare, Hospital Attending Physician.  She has been with Hebrew HealthCare since 1993.

Dr. Pannullo oversees the medical department and treatment of all HealthCare, Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing residents and all patients at Hebrew HealthCare, Hospital. In addition to seeing her own patients, Dr. Pannullo is also directly involved in supervising the medical care of residents and patients who are assigned to other Hebrew HealthCare physicians, including the physicians at Connecticut Geriatric Specialty Group.  Dr. Pannullo is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.

Dr. Pannullo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University, and graduated from the UMDNJ. She also completed her residency at the UMDNJ, and earned a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine from the University Of Connecticut Travelers Center on Aging.

Dr. Harold Sandals, Attending Physician


Dr. Harold Sandals is the Hebrew HealthCare, Hospital Attending Physician since 2013.

Dr. Harold Sandals has 20 years experience as a nursing home Medical Director at Woodlake at Tolland. He also served as the medical director of North Central Hospice in Vernon for 30 years. He was a founding member of the Academy of Hospice Physicians. 

His interests are in hospice and palliative medicine, and medical ethics. In addition to his role as staff physician, he serves as Medical Director for Hebrew Health Hospice. He has a B.A. in biology from Clark University, earning his M.D. degree as a member of the third graduating class of the University of Connecticut, School of Medicine. He completed a 4 year Yale affiliated residency in Primary Care at Bridgeport Hospital. He practiced for 25 years with Tolland Family Medicine. He oversees the medical care of residents on three skilled nursing units.

Jonas Steiner, Vice President, Admissions and Social Work Services 


Mr. Steiner is responsible for collaborating with the Admission Team in identifying appropriate candidates for admission to Hebrew HealthCare’s system of services. Applicants are assessed in a sensitive, timely, and professional manner.  He helps applicants determine various options available in our continuum; other community based resources and discusses initial financial issues as well as eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid and some VA benefits.

Mr. Steiner continues to be responsible for determining the reimbursement source for payment and potential issues which might be problematic in this regard.

Mr. Steiner has facilitated a family support group for new family members as well as a family council and he supervises the Social Work Services staff in their practice.  He continues to provide direct service to family, patients and residents.

Mr. Steiner joined Hebrew Home Rehabilitation Center in 1980 as a social worker.  He became Director of Admissions in 1984 and has been in his current position since 1998.  In October of 2009, he was honored with the Gates of Jerusalem award for community service.  He has a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree in Social Work from St. Louis University School of Social Services in St. Louis, MO.  Additionally, Mr. Steiner has been awarded the Henry Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award.


Lisa Holloway, Long Term Care Administrator 


Ms. Holloway is our Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.  As the Administrator of the skilled nursing facility Ms. Holloway is responsible for the overall regulatory compliance both clinical and operational of the skilled nursing facility.

She is a partner in the organization who has developed her expertise from rich work experiences gained while serving and leading assisted living and skilled nursing facilities and programs to ensure high quality services with the values and objective necessary to accomplish the mission and vision of the organization. She has a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of residents by providing compassionate, resident directed care and has created a work place environment dedicated to building committed teams for all staff that values mutual respect and collaboration.

A graduate of the International Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro North Carolina Ms. Holloway’s experiences combined with her clinical background, frequent seminar and training sessions give her current skills that will enhance the team’s effectiveness.  She is an active member and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Administrator.  

Ms. Holloway shares more than twenty years of health care experience with Hebrew HealthCare both as human resources professional and a skilled nursing Administrator.   In addition to her Nursing Home Administrator’s license, she has multiple degrees including, a Master’s Degree in Social Work, a Master’s Degree of Science in Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration.

Madelene A. Francese, Vice President, Development


Ms. Francese joined Hebrew HealthCare in 2007 to oversee the fundraising operation for Hebrew HealthCare and its affiliates. Ms. Francese and her fundraising team are charged with securing funds in support of operations, capital projects, special programs and endowment.  Since arriving at Hebrew HealthCare her team has successfully raised in excess of $5.0 million in support of operations and capital improvements. Ms. Francese has been fundraising on behalf of the nonprofit community for 30 years with the majority of that time spent in the Greater Hartford region. Ms. Francese estimates that she has raised in excess of $25 million in operating support for museums, higher education, the arts and health care.    

Before joining Hebrew Health Care, Ms. Francese worked for The Bushnell Center for Performing Arts for 10 years and during that time raised more than $8.0 million in operating support. Prior to joining The Bushnell, Ms. Francese was the Annual Fund Manager at Newington Children’s Hospital and subsequently Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.  During her tenure at CCMC, Ms. Francese was responsible for organizing and carrying out the week-long grand opening activities for the new children’s hospital; a proud achievement.

Ms. Francese’s favorite part of her job is getting to know her donors and providing the necessary funding for the residents and families who we care for every single day. 

Ms. Francese earned B.A. from Connecticut College. 

Doreen W. Beattie, Vice President, Nursing Services, the Hospital


Ms. Beattie is the Vice President of Nursing for The Hospital at Hebrew HealthCare. She oversees the quality and performance of both the medical and behavioral health units.

Ms. Beattie received her Diploma in Nursing from Ona M. Wilcox School of Nursing. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and as a Master of Science Degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Hartford. Doreen has 36 years of clinical and administrative experience in both acute care and long-term care settings in the Greater Hartford/New Haven areas.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Beattie was the Program Manager for the sub-acute rehabilitation unit at Hebrew Health Care.  During that time she also served as the Infection Control Practitioner.

Ms. Beattie is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.  Additionally she previously published in the Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing.


Pamela K. Atwood, Director, Dementia Care Services


Ms. Atwood joined Hebrew HealthCare in 2002 to create and manage the Dementia Care Services department, including curriculum development, training, policy creation, community elder care consultations, specialized activity programs and grants to support same. She does extensive public speaking, consulting, research and teaching. From 2008-2012 she also served as Director of Life Enrichment.

Ms. Atwood volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut and the American Parkinson’s Disease Association of Connecticut and facilitates three support groups. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the APDA CT Chapter and the Education Conference Committee of the Alzheimer’s Association CT Chapter.  Ms. Atwood has also been appointed by the Connecticut Legislature to serve on the State Alzheimer’s Task Force. In addition to in-service education, workshops and conference presentations, she educates people through college and online courses. Ms. Atwood and her husband Tom authored the book Total Engagement: An Arts-Based Guide to Meaningful Engagement. 

Ms. Atwood earned a Masters Degree from University of Saint Joseph in Gerontology and Human Development and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, a Qualified Dementia Care Provider and a Certified Laughter Leader.

Joan Carney, Executive Director, Hoffman SummerWood Community


As SummerWood’s founding Executive Director, Ms. Carney is responsible for the administration and operation of all programs at SummerWood, from strategic planning through implementation. She brings a unique combination of clinical and administrative skills to her role.

Since 2004 Ms. Carney has played a leading role conceiving of, planning, and supervising SummerWood’s expansion, completed in 2009.

Ms. Carney has been with Hebrew HealthCare since 1995. Prior to becoming Executive Director at SummerWood, she was Director of Hebrew HealthCare's Home HealthCare Agency.  Ms. Carney also worked for various Visiting Nurse Associations for 12 years, seven of them in a supervisory or management capacity.

In 2012, Joan became a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP). In 2009, Ms. Carney was honored with the prestigious Executive Director Hero Award from the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) for her extraordinary professional service and commitment to senior living residents and their families. Under her leadership, SummerWood is proud to be the recipient of over 25 awards, both at the state and national level.

Ms. Carney began her career as a registered nurse, after receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA.


Rabbi Daniel Braune-Friedman, Director of Pastoral Care


Rabbi Daniel Braune-Friedman is the Director of Pastoral Care. He comes to Hebrew HealthCare with a wealth of knowledge and a broad spectrum of professional experience. Before coming to Hebrew HealthCare, Rabbi Braune-Friedman was a Clinical Pastoral Resident at Hartford Hospital, providing pastoral support to patients, families and staff. 

Rabbi Braune-Friedman’s experience is not limited to Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care. In addition to serving as Chaplain at Oxford University, Rabbinic Intern at NYU Hillel, Chaplain Intern at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Pastoral Intern at Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, NY, he has experience in fundraising from his position as Assistant Director for the UCONN Foundation Annual Fund. He holds two Bachelor of Science Degrees in Political Science and Judaic Science and a Masters of Art from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Rabbi Braune-Friedman was ordained from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.

Brad Renner, WCC, Wound Care Specialist


Brad Renner is the Wound Care Specialist and has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years.  He received an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Bridgeport and an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Quinnipiac University.

Mr. Renner manages the Hebrew HealthCare Wound Care Program which runs 24/7.  He sees patients in a variety of settings including both in-patient and out-patient through Hebrew Health Visiting Nurse and Hospice and through the clinics at Hebrew HealthCare and Hoffman SummerWood Community.  

Ruthan Wein, Volunteer Resources


Ms. Wein came to Greater Hartford, CT from Port Chester, NY in 1979 after teaching kindergarten for 16 years in Westchester County. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Syracuse University and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport.

Ms. Wein furthered her education in 1983 by earning another Master’s Degree in Gerontology from the University of Hartford. Before coming to Hebrew HealthCare, Ms. Wein served as Program Coordinator at Federation Homes in Bloomfield, CT. She became involved in the Auxiliary of Hebrew HealthCare and served as its President from 1985 to 1986.

After having volunteered at Hebrew HealthCare for a number of years, Wein then became Hebrew HealthCare’s Director of Volunteer Resources in 1995. With her love of children and her passion for the elderly, Ms. Wein successfully launched a large youth volunteer program with children from 5 years old to college age. The program remains a vital part of Hebrew HealthCare’s volunteer resources.

Lori Blackburn, Volunteer Resources Coordinator


Ms. Blackburn has served in a variety of capacities at Hebrew HealthCare prior to becoming the new Volunteer Coordinator in 2016.  Her experience includes thirty years in business development and marketing as well as several years in non-profit volunteer management.

In her role as Volunteer Coordinator, Lori will be leading the department in new directions including the implementation of new programs however she will be retaining many of the wonderful longstanding traditions that have been an integral part of the Volunteer Program at Hebrew HealthCare.

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